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Mike Ness, Annie Bosko & Event Prosessionals Support Live Events Industry Devasted By COVID-19

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Today, the Live Events Coalition in conjunction with the California Events Coalition held an impactful action day.

Mike Ness, Annie Bosko & Event Prosessionals Support Live Events Industry Devasted By COVID-19

Today, the Live Events Coalition in conjunction with the California Events Coalition held an impactful action day and video-documented activation titled ONE VOICE at Xbox Plaza at L.A. LIVE. The day of action, meant to showcase the breadth and impact of COVID-19 on the live events industry, kicked off with opening remarks by Live Events Coalition PR and Marketing Director, Gabriel Saavedra, and included remarks by Social Distortion vocalist and guitarist, Mike Ness, as well as a special performance by singer-songwriter Annie Bosko.

One by one, individuals whose lives have been tragically disrupted along with millions of others, stepped up to speak about how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the industry, their businesses, and their livelihood.

"We're at a moment where guidelines to re-open are not approved and L.A. and the state of California is not open for events," states Rob Pausmith, Managing Director, Très L.A. Group. "There's a whole industry with the safety and precautionary measures in place with no idea when we'll be approved to re-open and celebrate again," Rob continues. "We need more. We need answers. We need guidelines just like those afforded to other industries."

"Right now everything I've poured myself into, everything that these other event professionals have poured themselves into is gone," says Lauren Montgomery, Creative Director, Collective Rentals. "What I want to convery is that we're not the only people that need events. If you think about your friends during this really difficult time, what do they want to do? They want to spend time with other people, they want to celebrate their weddings, their graduations, they want to be in a room with their fellow businessmen, they want to create partnerships and real relationships. That's what we miss. We're humans, we need this," she pleads.

"You know when we got the PPP it was great, it made my people feel it good, I loved that I could help out my team [and] pay my technicians and it was great for nine weeks, and then that went away," recounts Ray Thompson, Owner, Images by Lighting. "Then the unemployment came and we were getting that $600 and now that's gone away and I feel so bad," he continues. "It was the hardest thing for me when I had to let my people go. They're all on unemployment, which just got reduced. They're family, and I love them all. And it's really hard letting them go knowing you might not get them back."

This industry, which is one of the first to have been shut down, and likely one of the last to return, provides jobs for approximately 12 million Americans from lighting designers, florists, freelance event producers, musicians and more who are now out of a paycheck for the foreseeable future.

"Our fans miss live music, we miss traveling, and all of these people involved miss getting paid. They miss being comfortable knowing that their next paycheck is coming because the work is steady," states Social Distortion Vocalist and Guitarist, Mike Ness.

The day of action, which was produced by event design and production firm Sterling Engagements, featured a unique activation which was orchestrated to look like a typical event but with one major component missing, the event professionals and guests that make live events possible. The "empty event" displayed an art installation utilizing mixed media and florals along with the words, "12 MILLION STRONG" to honor the approximately 12 million Americans that make up the industry along with an impactful lighting installation at the front of the activation featuring 48 lighting fixtures, each representing 250,000 event industry professionals. The action day concluded with a car-caravan, Parade of Voices, along Chick Hearn Ct. consisting of the many unemployed Southern California event industry professionals caravanning in solidarity.

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